The Newark Star-Ledger reports:
An illegal immigrant charged in last month’s Newark schoolyard slayings was entitled to be free on bail for previous crimes at the time of the shootings, and public criticism surrounding his release reflects a “profoundly flawed understanding of the right to bail,” according to a judge’s report released today.
At the request of Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, retired Judge Arthur N. D’Italia reviewed the court procedures followed in consolidating and setting bail in the prior criminal cases against Jose Lachira Carranza, whose arrest record – for attacking patrons during a bar fight and for child rape – sparked outrage after the Aug. 4 killings.
While the report recommends placing bail determinations on the formal record to avoid confusion in future cases, it concludes the judge’s actions were appropriate.
“Carranza was entitled to a reasonable bail that would ensure his presence at trial on serious charges,” D’Italia’s report states. “In fact, he appeared when required at two hearings subsequent to posting bail. Thus, the ‘primary purpose of bail’ under the New Jersey Constitution was satisfied.”
Rabner asked D’Italia, a retired Superior Court judge in Hudson County, to conduct the probe on Aug. 16. Today, he thanked D’Italia for having “swiftly and thoroughly completed a review of this case.” As a result of D’Italia’s report, a memo was issued today to all of the state’s assignment judges and criminal presiding judges directing that a record be made of the agreement of the parties if bail is reduced, Rabner said.
The report is here.
The memo is here.